Friday, November 11, 2011

Together we Remembered

Wreaths were laid by the Cenotaph  borrowed by Mt. Pleasant Legion 
On November 10th our the staff and students, under the leadership of our International Club, welcomed Fukushima Seikei High School.  This was the second visit from this particular Japanese school - the other came in November of 2010.
Japanese students demonstrate "radio exercises"

Eight months ago, on March 11 2010, the Fukushima area was hit by a devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake. The quake and the ensuing tsunami left the area devastated with nearly 2000 people losing their lives. Of course, the natural disaster was further aggravated by the subsequent nuclear reactor problems. 

School VP Ando and I spoke about the effects the earthquake had on her school
Given our relationship with our friends from Fukushima, news reports from Japan were particularly difficult to watch.  Our thoughts and prayers were with them.  In addition to our prayerful best wishes, our school community raised over $2000 for the relief efforts. 

On this most recent visit, our school communities came together to once again celebrate cultural diversity and all the richness it provides.

This was an opportunity have the world "shrink" just a little bit more for our respective communities.

Given the tragic events of eight months ago, the visit also took on a somewhat deeper meaning.

While we celebrated a wide array of culturally diverse traditions, we were also reminded of our shared humanity.

Students from both schools were invited to open their eyes and hearts to the humanity that binds us together as a globe.

One of the defining moments of the day was the Remembrance Day Peace Assembly.  Students from both schools participated in this wonderful assembly.

The assembly, highlighted a couple of important values we all share as global citizens: 
  • As fellow human beings in this world it is important that we come to appreciate not only our diversity but also our commonality 
  • That together we should all mourn our fallen soldiers 
  •  That together we all yearn for peace 
 And that

  • Together we need come to together to help our fellow humans in times of crisis 

On that day I was reminded of the importance of how we, as a school, need to continue to give our students an opportunity appreciate and celebrate cultural diversity and simultaneously embrace our singular humanity. 

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